Citrus veteran and pest management pioneer Jim Gorden was recently elected chairman of California’s Citrus Research Board (CRB). He will complete the term of Richard Bennett, who stepped down in January. Gorden previously had served as CRB chairman in 2009-11.
“We are deeply appreciative of Jim Gorden’s leadership, his commitment to the California citrus industry and his dedication to citrus research,” said CRB President Gary Schulz. “Jim’s past experience as CRB chairman, his long-time service on the Board and his keen knowledge of the California citrus industry are all tremendous assets to our organization.”
Gorden will serve as chairman until the CRB’s annual meeting in September. Currently continuing their service on the Executive Board are Vice-Chair Dan Dreyer and Secretary-Treasurer John Konda.
“On behalf of the Board, I’d like to thank Richard Bennett for his energy, enthusiasm, and passion for citrus research and the California citrus industry,” Gorden said. “I’d also like to express my appreciation to Dan Dreyer for filling in as interim chairman. I’m looking forward to guiding the CRB through this important period as we seek to find solutions to the critical threat of huanglongbing that’s looming over our industry.”
Gorden’s primary areas of professional involvement have been integrated pest management and citriculture, and he is a recognized international expert in those fields. For more than 35 years, he was a partner in Pest Management Associates, which was the first independent citrus pest management consulting company providing service to the San Joaquin Valley.
“I’ve always been interested in science, research, and horticulture,” Gorden said. “And I became more heavily involved in farming after I withdrew from consulting.”
The Lemon Cove resident holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from California State University, Fresno. He and his wife, Mary, have supported youth activities such as 4-H and the Boys and Girls Club in Exeter. Gorden also serves or has served with many civic and professional organizations.
Professionally, Gorden has served on the California Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee since its inception and continues to remain heavily involved. Additional involvement includes eight years with the California Citrus Nursery Board, as well as working with the ACP/HLB Task Force, Southern Sierra Archeological Society, Central California Tristeza Eradication Board, Chair of the Tulare County Pest Control District, and the Association of Applied Insect Ecologists.
Gorden and his wife Mary have been married for 53 years and have five grandchildren. Their son, Milo, is married to Elia, and is a partner in running the farms. Their daughter, Megan, and her husband, Sean, also are partners in the citrus farming operations.
The CRB administers the California Citrus Research Program, a grower-funded and grower-directed program established in 1968 under the California Marketing Act as the mechanism enabling the state’s citrus producers to sponsor and support needed research.